Are Green Coffee Beans Worth the Hype?

Green coffee


Green coffee beans are being marketed as a supposed miracle weight loss supplement. Certainly with the American diet and high obesity rates, weight loss is something that is often on people’s minds. So the claim is that you would not have to make any changes in your diet or exercise regimen to see the benefits of this supplement. That may make you perk up at the idea of buying some green beans yourself, or it may make you even more skeptical. Here is a breakdown of the information we have on the green coffee beans.

What are Green Coffee Beans?

Coffee plants to mature. Montenegro, Colombia


Green coffee beans are the seeds of the coffee fruit. When the beans are roasted, they are used to brew your favorite cup of java. Green coffee beans are the same beans, only they remain unroasted. The roasting process reduces the level of chlorogenic acid, which is said to be the compound that is helpful for weight loss. The green coffee extract still contains caffeine, but does not taste like your typical cup of morning coffee. Side effects from having too much caffeine can include nervousness, insomnia, restlessness and increased heartbeat.

The Study

business executive having coffee


The primary evidence that substantiates the claim of weight loss is the study by Vinson, Burnham and Nagendran. The study took 16 overweight adults and found an average loss of 18 pounds over the course of 22 weeks. The participants received either 1,050 mg, 700 mg or a placebo during the study. The researchers measured for body weight, body mass index, heart rate, blood pressure and percentage of body fat. Six of the participants were reported to have shifted from preobesity to a normal weight range during the course of the study.

[Flaws of the Study

Young couple in love at a coffee shop


The primary study only had 16 participants, which is not enough to make a legitimate scientific claim about the weight-loss ability of the supplement. Applied Food Sciences is an Austin, Texas based company that sells green coffee beans. This company funded the study by paying researchers in India to perform the study. The lead researcher misreported the weights of the subjects and the length of the trial. Study subjects were told to alter their diet and increase exercise during the period of the study. The original researcher was unable to get the study published, which resulted in AFS hiring researchers from the University of Stanton to rewrite the study.

Marissa is a talented writer and journalist with a strong background in covering physical and mental health issues. Find Marissa on LinkedIn!

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